Named after a nearby rock formation, Mopra radio telescope helps us to learn about the structure of galaxies and how stars form.
A single 22-metre diameter antenna used for radio astronomy research, our Mopra telescope is located near the town of Coonabarabran in north-west New South Wales. It is one of four instruments that make up the Australia Telescope National Facility.
Research with Mopra radio telescope
Mopra is operated only during the cooler months of the year (from April to October) when the atmosphere is at its most stable. It is used primarily for large-scale millimetre-wavelength mapping projects. The millimetre-wave band allows us to observe clouds of cold interstellar gas and dust, and is an important way we learn about how stars form and about the composition and structure of galaxies.
In addition to being used as a single antenna, Mopra is also used as part of a large-scale telescope arrangement called the Long Baseline Array. The Long Baseline Array utilises the Australia Telescope National Facility telescopes (Parkes, Compact Array and Mopra), and the Hobart and Ceduna antennas operated by the University of Tasmania, by employing a technique known as very long baseline interferometry. The signals from each of the antennas are correlated to create high-resolution images.
There is no public access to Mopra radio telescope.